Symetra Plunges as Proft Misses Analysts’ EstimatesElizabeth Bunn
Symetra Financial Corp., the insurer that counts Warren Buffett’s Berkshire Hathaway Inc. among its largest shareholders, declined the most since 2011 after fourth-quarter profit missed analysts’ estimates.
Symetra dropped 9.1 percent to $12.43 at 12:41 p.m. in New York. The Bellevue, Washington-based company had advanced about 37 percent in the 12 months through yesterday.
Net income fell to $31 million, or 22 cents a share, from $73.7 million, or 54 cents, a year earlier, as claims costs climbed at the benefits and individual-life segments, the company said in statement yesterday. Operating profit, which excludes some investment results, was 24 cents a share, compared with the 34-cent average estimate of nine analysts surveyed by Bloomberg.
“Fourth-quarter operating earnings are well below our expectations,” Sandler O’Neil & Partners LP analysts led by Edward Shields said in a note. Shields has a hold rating on the company.
Berkshire and White Mountains Insurance Group Ltd. are the two top Symetra shareholders, and each company has a stake of about 15 percent, according to data compiled by Bloomberg.
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